I have had one of the scariest experiences of my life. I have been reading through all the entries that you have sent. I have been in awe of the long ones, and short ones, laughed at the funny ones, and gawped at a perfectly weird one... and of course, I have loved them all.
However, I had to choose, and for a while I was terrified. How was I going to choose? How could I be fair? How could I have promised only one prize?
I resisted the temptation to have someone else choose... because that really wouldn't be fair - I promised to chose not great writing, not a great story, but based on my heartfelt response. And, I have had quite a few heartfelt responses to the entries. I have tried to explain to myself why this one and not that one, but I can't explain it. It's a feeling, and all I can say is that some of the entries really touched me. They weren't all particularly clever, or well-written....(sorry, folks, but I was innundated with beautifully written prose, clever poetry and lovey short stories, and for me, the top entries were not in these categories).
There was a wide variety of paintings selected by you, but only very few paintings were chosen by more than two people. This surprised me. And then of course I realised that just like there are many different paintings there are many different people.
Today I have been engaged in the laborious task of putting these entries up on my website... But the task is going to have to wait a few days because, in the middle of it all, I got another surprise.... Today is the first of February! And I thought it was tomorrow... Did I ever tell you I am terrible with numbers, even simple ones, and I have a talent for over complicating things?
A keen multiple entrant and a good friend, Frances "WHAT??????
Is it mid-night tonight January 31st, Or mid-night tonight, February First?
Now forgive me for getting confus-ed
I'd thought it the former
To submit all my thoughts by that date...
And all day today I've been waiting
Watching the email alert
Wondering why it was taking so long...?"
Actually Frances wrote loads and loads and took my entreaty to enter often very seriously...(I lost count at the fourth)...And even with such beautiful entreaties, I have to be true to my promise..So, the winner is
Rebecca and Sharon Carey from Newcastle in Wicklow. Rebecca, who is only five, had a joint entry with her mother, Sharon. When Rebecca first saw my paintings "Dark Lilies" (on a postcard) she declared that who ever painted it deserved a "trophy", and to this end she put pen to paper and "drew you one" writes Sharon.
And the prize painting is The Station House, Six Mile Point at Newcastle, Co. Wicklow
onnell, sent me another entry tonight..
And now, as it approaches midnight, sincere congratulations to Rebecca & Sharon...
In a few days I will put the entries up on my website, but from me, tonight, goodnight.